Congress restores tenure of IG for Iraq reconstruction

Legislation to extend the mandate of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction was approved on Friday, reflecting broad support for an office that has unearthed accounts of widespread fraud, waste and abuse in U.S. rebuilding operations.

By voice vote, the House approved a bill (S. 4046) identical to one passed by unanimous consent in the Senate on Thursday, clearing the way for President Bush's signature. The measure restores the shelf life of the inspector general's office until 10 months after 80 percent of the funds for Iraq reconstruction have been spent.

That formula had defined the SIGIR tenure until a last-minute addition to the fiscal 2007 Defense authorization bill set the office's termination date as Oct. 1, 2007. A spokesman for the office said in October that, under the newly restored rule, the office might be disbanded in about two years. The precise date would depend on the pace of spending.

"The SIGIR has done a remarkable job providing constructive and aggressive oversight of these activities, with an estimated savings of $405 million so far," said Rep. Ike Skelton, D-Mo., who sponsored a House version of the bill that failed to emerge from committee. "I am confident that those savings will only increase as a result of this bill."

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, who sponsored the Senate version along with Russ Feingold, D-Wis., Norm Coleman, R-Minn., and Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn., also welcomed the vote. "This office has proven to be a much-needed watchdog, auditing reconstruction contracts in Iraq and spotlighting numerous cases of waste, fraud and abuse," she said. Collins said SIGIR returns $25 of benefit on each dollar spent.

SIGIR conducts its work at an accelerated rate to address problems with reconstruction officials even as the review is in progress, a system that Inspector General Stuart Bowen has said is necessary given the rapid pace of change on the ground in Iraq.

Bowen's office conducted investigations leading to the arrest of a contractor in connection with bribing reconstruction officials with more than $2 million in cash and gifts; other investigations uncovered negligent project management that has wasted millions on construction projects.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

    Download
  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

    Download
  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.